Consider this hypothetical scenario: My father is dead, as are both his parents. There are no samples from any of my direct paternal ancestors. The only source of DNA from my father's side of the family is from three of my father's living siblings. Using those samples, can DNA testing prove (to the satisfaction of the courts) that I am my father's child, and not simply someone probably related to the family somehow? [more inside]
posted by Naberius
on Jan 28, 2014 -
As a Christmas present, I bought my 10-year-old daughter a 23 and Me
kit. Shortly after it arrived, I received an email stating they would no longer provide health-related information and offering a refund. Should I take the refund (which would inactivate the kit) or go ahead with it? [more inside]
posted by jeoc
on Dec 9, 2013 -
I am a male. I am the family historian. In an effort to fine-tune my own research into my maternal grandfather's family (the "Jones"), I have my male first cousin take a Y-DNA test, since he has the "Jones" Y-Chromosome (I have my Dad's Y chromosome).
Lo and behold, the test comes back with a perfect match, and a predicted Most Recent Common Ancestor within 3 generations. I have researched back farther than that and I know all of their names. None of the last names match.
My occupation doesn't take me anywhere near genetics... but I am assuming that a Y DNA match with a MRCA that close should have the same surname for his male ancestor, correct? Except if there's been adoption or infidelity or rape, correct?
I sent the results to my cousin, prior to the lightbulb going off over my head. He knows a lot less about this than I do. He hasn't called me yet, but what if he does? Should I just let sleeping dogs lie? Ugh!
posted by anonymous
on Nov 12, 2013 -
It seems that we will likely be able to grow new organs or bodies in the future. I would like to save my own DNA while i'm still young and healthy, so that I can have a less degraded blueprint available when I need it. I am having a hard time making sense of the options available to me; does anyone have any knowledge (academic, anecdotal, or personal) that would be useful here? Thanks in advance,
posted by DGStieber
on Sep 20, 2013 -
I'm working on a new book and I need to name a genome. I can't handwave it-- while the book is SF, I don't want people in the know to be able to look at it like people look at Law & Order address (ie, nobody from New York would ever think that's a real address. Nobody in science would ever think that's a real genome.) [more inside]
posted by headspace
on Aug 14, 2013 -
I'm trying to determine whether my dad is really my dad. I have my DNA raw data and my dad's raw data from 23andme, but results are not yet calculated for relatives. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jul 26, 2013 -
Dear MetaFilter, I am new to this forum and this is my first post, hi!
I am in a bit of a pickle about a work project, and hope that I may be able to get some help by some fellow sciencey people. The science forums are rarely read and badly out of date, or I would have posted at one of those.
I have a deadline for a miRNA PCR experiment, and I have already run the cDNA and PCR for the miRNA. All I have to do is run the miRNA on a gel.
We don't have acrylamide! And neither does our neighboring lab. We only have Agarose with which to make gels, which is only for large fragments, not small miRNA fragments of 20-40 bp.
As the percentage of agarose in the gel goes higher, the smaller the size of the base pairs are that can be measured. Could I increase this percentage enough to work for miRNA?
Out of respect for the community that doesn't like line returns, I have entered the specifics of this post in the Extended Explanation box, because to me, this post reads like a jumble of nonsense without some kind of organization. [more inside]
posted by Arachnophile
on May 30, 2013 -
I recently had my DNA analyzed by 23andme, and now a friend wants to write about my results as part of a story in a popular national magazine. Normally I'd be fine with this, but I have some concerns about future insurance effects, especially considering one of the results. What, if any, is the real danger in having my name being used with my real results? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Feb 21, 2013 -
How can you tell the physical and chemical structure of a nucleic acid based on a sample's proportions of nucleotides? [more inside]
posted by johnofjack
on Feb 9, 2013 -
I want to better understand my body. So, I want data - baseline data. Going to sign up for 23andMe
, and I'd also like to get some imaging done. In particular, I'd like an MRI of my body (head and torso) and any other medical diagnostics I can buy.
I'm interested in your suggestions for cheap medical imaging
, and also for your suggestions on other ways to collect hard data about my body and its condition. [more inside]
posted by fake
on Jan 19, 2013 -
My father's grandfather was adopted with very little paperwork or evidence trail as to his biological origins. Earlier this year, my father's uncle got his DNA tested. Unfortunately, the closest Y-DNA relative we've isolated from the tests is 13 generations back. But, I have a related question: All of the matches, through multiple services (having manually entered the data into other services) have a wide variety of non-repeating last names. Given that Y-DNA matches father-to-son, wouldn't there be at least some
names repeating? [more inside]
posted by thanotopsis
on Aug 30, 2012 -
There was an article/NPR story from a couple years ago that described findings that we incorporate ALL things we take in into our bodies. [more inside]
posted by ilikecookies
on Jul 17, 2012 -
One of my sperm contains 37.5MB of DNA information in it. Does every single one of my sperm have the very same identical 37.5MB of information? [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker
on Jul 6, 2012 -
Was reading about microchips that are designed to allow a few mistakes (known as 'Sloppy Chips
'), and pondering equivalent kinds of 'coding' errors and entropy in biological systems. Can a fair comparison be made between the two? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious
on Jun 5, 2012 -
Could DNA testing theoretically be employed to determine how many distinct chickens found their way into one Chicken McNugget? [more inside]
posted by duffell
on Mar 1, 2012 -
Looking for an awesome primer on genetics! It should start somewhere around the highschool level, and continue through to some college-level material. Bonus points if it touches on some recent developments and research. Oh! And readability is key. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco
on Jan 13, 2012 -
Okay - I admit I didn't pay as much attention in biology class as I should have. Can someone tell me whether or not animal products such as milk and honey contain significant amounts of DNA? I have a friend who thinks people who talk about eating food that's "free of chemicals" are hysterical, because of course all food is made up of chemicals. But she takes it a step farther and asks if they've tried DNA-free food as well, which brings me to my point. I suggested things like milk and honey, which are secreted by animals, might by considered DNA-free. Her reaction was shock and dismay that I was ignorant of the (to her) common knowledge that those things do, in fact, contain DNA. I mean, I'll buy that maybe they contain some stray particles of DNA - like (I believe) our saliva does, but are they, or are they not, made of DNA?
posted by Death by Ugabooga
on Nov 8, 2011 -
Some heavy shit went down this week and I've become the unwilling party to a new family secret. I want to tell one or two trusted family members because it affects them to a lesser degree. Can people with calmer heads and more perspective help me sort through this and figure out the best line to take?
(Caution: longwinded) [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on May 25, 2011 -
DNA question plus *Gross-out alert* If you don't like real live scabs from injuries, read no further. It won't get any better. I'm guessing that I've thinned the clicking herd... [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello
on May 7, 2011 -
How common is human chimerism
of the sort described in this Boing Boing post
? What implications does the existence of chimerism have for DNA testing, especially with respect to the criminal justice system? Does it pose a practical limit on the usefulness of DNA evidence, or just a theoretical one? Has chimerism come up in any cases, or been considered as a problem in legal scholarship?
posted by gerryblog
on Mar 23, 2011 -
Please point me to scientific resources/articles either in support of or refuting the "biblical" claim that all humans are descendants of a single pair of male and female (i.e. Adam and Eve) [more inside]
posted by oracle bone
on Mar 10, 2011 -
Amateur coder looking to make a "toy" Neural Net and also genetic/phenotypic DNA evolution/breeding system for a "virtual pet" game. Any tools that can make this approachable for me, preferably in Python? [more inside]
posted by DetonatedManiac
on Aug 20, 2010 -
Research for a sci-fi story: Is it theoretically possible to genetically modify a feotus in vitro to such an extent that the feotus effectively becomes a clone of the father? [more inside]
posted by leibniz
on Apr 5, 2010 -
I'm designing a series of DNA infographics and would like to know what sorts of information would be the most ... well, informative. [more inside]
posted by clearly
on Apr 22, 2009 -
"The DNA of humans and chimps is 98.4% identical." I've read that several places. I've also read "The DNA of all living things is 90% identical" and "The DNA of humans and lettuce is 16% identical." How could I find out which of those last two statements is correct? Or is the problem that I don't understand which part of the DNA is being referred to? (Frankly, I'm not that clear on DNA in the first place - I'd just like the right number.)
posted by kestralwing
on Dec 31, 2008 -
How can I determine, with access to limited biological data, if my father is not who I thought he was? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jul 5, 2008 -
Has there been any critical recognition of the similarity of the sculptures of Jachin and Boaz from Matthew Barney's Cremaster 3
to important helical structures (the DNA helix and the alpha helix) from molecular biology? [more inside]
posted by mr_roboto
on Apr 19, 2008 -
Wondering if anyone here has had a Genealogical DNA test
for purposes of learning more about your distant (ie. not recent/paternity)
ancestors. I have questions about the differences (price, service, thoroughness) of the various companies offering this service, the type of data that different tests can produce, and ways this data can be (constructively) interpreted. [more inside]
posted by cadastral
on Apr 16, 2008 -
I've finally decided to learn about how DNA (by reading Molecular Biology Made Fun And Simple
), and I have a question about chromatin. The pictures you see of chromosomes are all taken when chromosomes have packed themselves into a visible structure to allow them to move around during Metaphase. If I have stranded, intact chromosomes in a test tube, can I force them to pack themselves into the Metaphase configuration? If so, how?
posted by hammurderer
on Feb 6, 2008 -
Would it be worthwhile to preserve a sample of my parents' DNA, with their permission, in case I ever need it for genetic testing of myself or my family? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jan 26, 2008 -
Is there such a thing as an 'invisible' virus - have biologists stumbled across any 'diseases' that have no noticeable symptoms?
posted by unmake
on Dec 14, 2007 -
Are there any studies, past or present, devoted to the idea of deriving precise time of either conception or birth from DNA analysis? For conception, I can imagine a science fiction author describing a rhythmic pattern or pulse emitted by something in the DNA whose beats are somehow recorded somewhere, like the veritable second hand of a clock. For birth time I'm a little fuzzier on the possibilities, but one idea that occurred to me was the studying the effects of direct light (sun or artificial) on a baby's chromosomes when exposed for the first time (not counting any rays that might penetrate the womb through the mother). There is also the telomere
clock to consider, about which I know very little.
posted by christopherious
on Dec 12, 2007 -
I need solid scientific evidence that thought can change matter - how consciousness effects DNA structure, patterns and ultimately reality. Charts, studies, videos, all is welcome as a way of viewing and understanding how the mind's energy works in relation to physical matter. Thank you so much.
posted by watercarrier
on Nov 7, 2007 -
After 68 years, my mom still doesn't know who her real dad was. Is it possible to find out? [more inside]
posted by konolia
on Jul 25, 2007 -
I heard that you can send a sample of your dog's DNA out to be tested to determine breed. I have a pound mutt who I would love to know the mix before she passes. Anyone know if such a service exists?
posted by archimago
on Jun 16, 2007 -
I'm a twenty-six-year-old fraternal twin, writing on behalf of both of us. Our mother has just revealed to us that the man we know as Dad is not our biological father. And the only person who knew the identity of our biological father...is dead. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Nov 19, 2006 -